My interests in non-ordinary states of consciousness and women's spirituality lead back to some key early childhood experiences. These memories influenced me to later explore women's connections to the divine, mythology, folklore and dreams. I vividly recall the loving presence of the blue-cloaked statue of the Virgin Mary on my mother's mahogany dresser shining in her field of luminous grace, smiling down at me. This experience left a deep impression. Another memory was of the feeling of unbridled joy while being a fairy waving my magic wand flying around our home in the Berkshire hills of New England. It was a sensation I vowed to always remember (and cultivate).
Intensely curious about the workings of the mind since early adolescence, I would often visit the local old stone library. Many long hours were spent trying to make sense of books on philosophy, psychology and metaphysics. Then, at fourteen, I discovered the writings of Alan Watts. Reading the "The Way of Zen" set me on what turned out to be a lifetime path inspired by Eastern religions.
Right after high school, I moved across the country to Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco, home of the Counterculture Movement. I embraced free-spirited living, began a meditation practice, learned massage and various healing methods, experimented with hallucinogens, vegetarianism, creative dance, fashion design, and communal living with other like-minded pathfinders.
My continued passionate interest in Eastern religions, ancient East/West healing traditions, and women's cultural and spiritual history inspired me to travel to sites dedicated to the sacred feminine in Greece, female deities and dakini sites in India and Nepal, as well as to lands associated with the ancient Amazons in Eastern Europe and Russia. Along with travel, studies of my ancestral roots have contributed to the deepening of a 'personal mythology.' Through advanced studies, I earned degrees in Archaeomythology (B.A), Women's Spirituality (M.A.) and a Ph.D. in Philosophy and Religion with a concentration in Transformation and Consciousness from the California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco.
Unexpectedly in 1992, I experienced a spiritual emergence through a series of frequent spontaneous lucid dreams that lasted over thirteen years. In these dreams, I met with spiritual teachers and wisdom guides in various forms and received healing, transmissions and gifts of insight. I wrote about these experiences in my book, "Guardians of the Gate: An Investigation of Numinous Presence, 'Visions of the Divine,' in Dreams," which is based on my doctoral dissertation.
Currently, I continue to investigate the archaeomythology of ancient goddess cultures and folklore traditions in Eastern Europe. In my private counseling/healing practice, I use methods derived from Tibetan Buddhism, Shaivism, Bon, shamanism, Transpersonal Psychology, women's spirituality and hypnotherapy. Periodically I offer individual and small group guided pilgrimages to Nepal. At present, I reside in Kathmandu, Nepal with my British artist husband, Christopher Castle.